Tickets on sale now at polkatheatre.com with early bird £10 tickets available for both shows until the end of November 2023.
Polka Theatre’s Artistic Director and Joint Chief Executive Helen Matravers and the whole team are pleased to announce the premiere of a new stage adaptation of Kevin and Katie Tsang’s best-selling book Sam Wu is NOT Afraid of Ghosts, which is published by Farshore, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers. Recommended for 6 – 12-year-olds, the adaptation will play in the Main Theatre at the Wimbledon venue from Saturday 22 June – Sunday 18 August 2024.
Sam Wu is NOT a scaredy-cat (except he is). When a trip to the Space Museum goes terrifyingly wrong, Sam begins a mission to prove to everyone that he is a fearless space adventurer…
The creative team will be led by director Emily Ling Williams (recent winner of Best Director at the 2023 Stage Debut Awards for ‘A Playlist for the Revolution’, Bush Theatre) and writer Julie Tsang.
Sam Wu authors Kevin and Katie Tsang said, “We are so thrilled that Polka Theatre is adapting Sam Wu Is NOT Afraid of Ghosts for the stage! Polka Theatre creates incredible shows for children and young people – and we love their commitment to making theatre accessible for all children. It is a privilege to be working with such a wonderful theatre, and to have such a fantastic creative team behind the adaptation. We often take our own children to shows at Polka – and we can’t wait to see Sam Wu on stage!”
Playing alongside it in the Adventure Theatre from Wednesday 3 July – Sunday 11 August 2024 will be How to Catch a Star, a magical adaptation of the book by award-winning Irish author Oliver Jeffers, presented by Branar, one of the leading Irish theatre companies making work for children.
Once there was a boy who was always looking up. He dreamt of having a star as a friend. This is the story of his adventure.
Branar’s signature storytelling creates a show which reminds us all to follow our dreams. Seamlessly blending puppetry from Suse Reibisch with a magical original score by Colm Mac Con Iomaire and directed by Marc Mac Lochlainn, How to Catch a Star is a non-verbal show aimed at 3 – 5 year olds, and is kindly supported by Culture Ireland.
Further details, including cast and creative team for both shows will be announced in the spring.
Sam Wu is NOT Afraid of Ghosts was first published in 2018 and was the first of a series of six titles, all of which deal with common childhood fears in a hilarious, sensitive and accessible way.
Helen Matravers said, “Sam Wu empowers, entertains and delights with surprises for chapter-book loving children, snake fans and ghost hunters! So, I am beyond delighted that Kevin and Katie Tsang have entrusted Polka to take this story and turn it into something really magical for the stage. With the talented Julie Tsang and Emily Ling Williams leading the creative vision for the show, we are in for such a wonderful treat next Summer. The lack of Global Majority representation in Children’s Theatre and Literature is something we are acutely aware of, particularly around popular adaptations. This is a wonderful moment to celebrate a character with East Asian heritage front and centre on our main stage in Polka’s 2024 theatre programme.
Award-winning Northern Irish author Oliver Jeffers launched his hugely successful picture book career in 2004 with How to Catch a Star which went on to have enormous commercial and critical success. This stage debut coincides with the book’s twentieth anniversary year.
Branar Artistic Director, Marc Mac Lochlainn said, “How to Catch a Star celebrates the boundless imagination of a child who will stop at nothing to achieve his dream. This show has been enjoyed by audiences all over the world and we are so excited that it will have a summer run with our friends at Polka, a place that celebrates childhood, imagination and dreams.”
Helen Matravers continues, “Polka’s relationship with Irish theatre makers, Branar, also has a rich history, so it is a joy to have them with us all summer with Oliver Jeffers’ mesmerising story, so carefully told through beautiful puppetry. It’s a gorgeous piece for little ones and their adults alike!”
Early bird tickets for both summer 2024 shows are available to purchase for £10 during the month of November, via polkatheatre.com or call 020 8543 4888*
Polka are also excited to be bringing back their biannual early years festival: Big Dreams. Returning in September 2024, Big Dreams is a celebration of early years theatre, performance and installation, taking place at Polka which has been the home of children’s theatre in Wimbledon and beyond for the past 45 years. More details will follow in the new year.